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Old 02-10-2015, 07:39 PM   #1
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Routing from Denver to South Rim Grand Canyon

My daughter, a jr at NC State, got accepted for a summer intern job in longmont Co.

The gig will run to sometime in early August. They, her and her roommate, who is planning to fly out and drive back with her, wanted to see grand canyon if possible.

I have a step brother in Glendale AZ, phoenix area, they could hang for a night or two.

So i have see on google 3 ways they show..

Going I70 out of denver west to near Archs NP and hwy 191 down to 160 and then over to 64 to the viewing area..

another way shown was coming out of Littletton down hwy 285 to 160 etc.

or the third way down I25 to I40 and then up 89 to 64.

I know the I25 to i40 is best, least daring way to go.. so i was wonder about the other two ways..

now this is a 20yr old female with another 20 yr old female with a good driving record and a good head on there shoulders but again college kids.. but they have not done any real big grades like out west..

advise welcome..
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Old 02-10-2015, 08:02 PM   #2
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Easiest, shortest, scenic route would be I-70 to 191. Stay over in Moab to see Arches or Canyonlands if so inclined. They would then head south down thru Monument Valley to 160 and then over to GC. On their return they can head down to Phoenix and then come back on I-10 & I-20.
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Old 02-10-2015, 08:57 PM   #3
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Hey Carl,
I'll second that . We have driven I70 to 191 as far as Moab, it's a nice drive. We have also stayed at both Glenwood Springs and at the Colorado National monument, state park at Fruita. Very nice.
Tim
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Old 02-11-2015, 06:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mojo View Post
Easiest, shortest, scenic route would be I-70 to 191. Stay over in Moab to see Arches or Canyonlands if so inclined. They would then head south down thru Monument Valley to 160 and then over to GC. On their return they can head down to Phoenix and then come back on I-10 & I-20.
thanks for that. are there any places to be aware of as far as down or up hill grades. I know of one the Ike Tunnel down to silverthorne.. They do a lot of loaded pickup truck testing there both down and then up.. check out TFLTruck.com: Truck News, Views & Reviews | The Fast Lane Truck - All Trucks - All the Time!TFLTruck.com: Truck News, Views & Reviews | The Fast Lane Truck | All Trucks – All the Time!

I will advise her to downshift to prevent brake overheating.. The car is a 2001 hyundai elentra and you can put in third to keep the speed under control.. When we go from Raleigh to asheville there is a nice longish pull up black mtn and she has seen me get passed by most everything non big truck up the hill,. so she is aware of not trying to keep up with traffic to keep MPG up.

Not sure if there will be a lot of time to visit NP's in the area but i will suggest a quick drive to arches at least.. and maybe canyonland as well. We do not have actual start date for the internship job, but they have to be back in NC by aug 15 to move in for school so may have to do a lot of this on the fly.

thanks again
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Old 02-11-2015, 07:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mojo View Post
Easiest, shortest, scenic route would be I-70 to 191. Stay over in Moab to see Arches or Canyonlands if so inclined. They would then head south down thru Monument Valley to 160 and then over to GC. On their return they can head down to Phoenix and then come back on I-10 & I-20.
Agree 100%
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Old 02-11-2015, 02:41 PM   #6
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What Mojo said. Been there done that. Very nice route.
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Old 02-11-2015, 05:48 PM   #7
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My husband and I travel back and forth between Denver & Frisco, CO and Scottsdale, AZ several times a year. There are many routes to take depending on what you want to see but I would advise the I-70/US191/160 route for the girls if they don't have much mountain driving experience. To see the full wonder of Monument Valley they need to take the cutoff through Mexican Hat. The only problem with this route is that there are large distances with no services between towns once you get beyond Grand Junction. If you want to keep them out of the mountains and on Interstates the whole way then send them south on I-25 to Albuquerque and the west on I-40 to Flagstaff or Williams. There is a diagonal cutoff from Flagstaff that will intersect with the road that goes to the Grand Canyon from Williams. Be aware that they will be going to Grand Canyon during high season and it's going to be extremely crowded at every lookout point.
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Old 02-11-2015, 06:15 PM   #8
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Don't want to negatively influence your plans, but there are lots to see and do in the Longmont/Denver/Boulder/Colorado Springs area. Sounds like time might be short at the end of the summer, and a trip to the Grand Canyon will likely add up to 1,000 miles (roundtrip from Longmont) and several days to their return trip.

The girls might have more fun riding up the Cog Railway to the top of Pike's Peak, and seeing the sights in Colorado Springs. Or driving over Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park and spending some time in Estes Park and the local ski areas.

Also, around mid-July, Cheyenne Frontier Days has 10 days of western rodeo excitement, parades, and musical entertainment, including the following:

July 18: Miranda Lambert and Tyler Farr
July 19: Big and Rich
July 20 & 21: Championship Bull Riding
July 22: Aerosmith
July 23: Alabama
July 24: Toby Keith and Trace Atkins
July 25: Keith Urban and Craig Morgan

While Arches and Grand Canyon National Parks are certainly great destinations, I wouldn't want to limit their experience of these natural wonders to just looking out the car window on a whirlwind roadtrip.

On an added note, August daytime temperatures in Moab and at the Grand Canyon will likely be around 95-100 degrees or higher; and the Colorado Rockies will be much cooler. Also, these areas of Utah and Arizona are extremely remote with no cell coverage, and roadside assistance is hours and hours away. Not sure I would want my granddaughters driving in this area alone.

Just a few things to think about...
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Old 02-11-2015, 09:40 PM   #9
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all great points and something to think about.. I understand the concerns with limited cell service as well. I think with the amount of people in the area it might be a good thing. The car while older is well maintained and we will go over and try to map out gas stops and such.

I am a firm believer in having a plan and working the plan to make sure thing go well all thing considered.

The cog rail thing sounds fun.. She will actually be in Longmont CO. working the summer intern job and a good possibly Saturdays as needed at the plant. The make high end displays for places in NY and they might go to Vegas to help with an install during the summer.

again thanks to all for the good info.
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Old 02-11-2015, 11:47 PM   #10
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Nostalgia

This post really caught my attention. Two college friends got coop jobs in Colorado Springs and Boulder during the summer of 1979. One's roommate and I decided to drive out and we'd caravan with our two cars back to Florida (in August). Everyone knew each other as we were in the same college. We had a blast. The roommate and I got out there early and went hiking in the Mt. Zirkle wilderness area, then back to Boulder for different nightlife. We all headed out from Colorado Springs and went to Mesa Verde, spent a couple of days hiking and camping within the Grand Canyon, headed east to Petit Jean State Park in Arkansas (drove non-stop from Gallup NM) and then on to New Orleans before going our separate ways and meeting back in Gainesville for school. I wish every young person could experience the fun we had that summer. I hope your daughter and her friend hit the road and have a great experience. Oh, and as a side note, after the trip the roommate and I started dating and we've been married now for 34 years.
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Old 02-12-2015, 01:41 AM   #11
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I 70 to 191 They would get to see a lot of Colorado, and Utah. Moab NP, Canyonlands NP, Monument Valley.
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Old 02-13-2015, 12:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mojo View Post
Easiest, shortest, scenic route would be I-70 to 191. Stay over in Moab to see Arches or Canyonlands if so inclined. They would then head south down thru Monument Valley to 160 and then over to GC. On their return they can head down to Phoenix and then come back on I-10 & I-20.
x3 or x4. ^ It's the way I would go.
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Old 02-14-2015, 05:54 PM   #13
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just a quick note.. I plan to send a link to this thread to my daughter to read as well..

SO.. i was looking at the arches AP Arches National Park (U.S. National Park Service) and see you go by the entrance to the NP before you reach Moab. In looking at the park map i see some nice places to go. I appears to be about 6ish hrs from longmont, where she will be located, to moab so i figure with the mtns it might take 7. The days will be longer this time of year so dark will be what some 9 to 9:30?

if the arch you see most often on tv and such is down near the parade of the elephants area?? the petrified dunes area looks interesting??

whats the best route in the park to see most of park or highlights in good amount of time.??

So after a day of driving and seeing arches looks like next stop might be canyon land NP. Look like CL is a bit more involved. maybe a look at from a distance thing??

edit

what are good places,, aka cheaper, to stay in moab area.. ??
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Old 02-14-2015, 06:21 PM   #14
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The road in Arches goes 20 miles back into the park. You can drive to a few of the arches but for the most part, you need to get out and walk. Delicate arch is the most famous and is about a mile up a long hill, but worth it. The entrance is only minutes from Moab.

There are several RV parks with cabins that may be the most economical alternative to motels or B&Bs.
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